My wrist is broken. It has its own pulse, pain that radiates through my entire arm. My fingers are tingling. I’m deeply surprised I haven’t passed out. Unconsciousness would be a welcome friend.
I rest my forehead on the glass, the streams of rain outside beating against the bus window. Tears well up in my eyes, and I clutch my wrist to my chest. The bones grind together with every bump the bus goes over. I bite the inside of my cheek and draw blood, but it doesn’t matter. My hair forms a stringy wet curtain between me and the rest of the passengers. All two of them.
My cell phone vibrates in my lap. I lift my head and stare at the screen.
Rae?? Where are you? I’m at your place.
My sister. Oh god. My sister. What was I supposed to say to her?
I’m running. I know that what happened is my fault, so I’m leaving. Nobody had to tell me to do it; I left all on my own. I don’t need anyone to tell me what I already know. I picked the last destination on the cross-state bus list. I don’t remember what it was now. I don’t remember where the ticket leads. But I know that I am going. Screw the world. Screw all of the people who didn’t listen to me, who didn’t hear me. Who never saw me or my pain. They will never see me now.
I swing around so that my head lolls on the headrest rather than against the window. There is a ring where my breath fogged up the glass. I close my eyes. My wrist sits much softer against my chest. I can still feel his fingers closed around it, cutting off my circulation. My breathing is jagged. When I try to swipe at the tears littering my cheeks, more take their place.
This can’t be happening. He swore it would be different. He swore that he was different.
I didn’t bring much, only the clothes I was wearing. And my phone. And for some reason, a book. That was the last thing I grabbed on my way out the door. For Worse Never Better by Penelope van Buskirk. My sister had given it to me, weeks before. She had known, even when I wouldn’t admit it. Even when I couldn’t.
It was too late now.
I don’t know how it happened. I don’t remember much apart from the pain. I remember the sound my wrist made when the bones snapped, how he refused to let go and everything ground together. How I saw red so vibrant that there were literal stars in my eyes. The taste of blood in my mouth as I cowered on the floor. I remember the feelings, but not the details.
My ring is in the pocket of my pants. I slipped it off as I stumbled through the rain to the bus stop. The marriage is definitely over. I imagine the secret, the memory, it contains is burning a hole through to my skin, growing hotter and hotter and…
My phone goes off again.
What the hell happened? The cops are everywhere.
It’s pouring. I believe that the rain is angels crying.